Queen Elizabeth II has thanked the British public for its "wonderful support" as she celebrates 60 years on the throne on Monday (06Feb12).
The British monarch was crowned in 1952 upon the death of her father King George VI, and has been inundated with well-wishes and gifts ahead of the milestone anniversary.
In a rare step, the Queen issued a statement on Monday to praise her subjects for their loyalty and reveal she's "deeply moved" by the public reaction to her Diamond Jubilee.
In the statement, issued by the Buckingham Palace press office, the monarch states, "Today, as I mark 60 years of your Queen (sic), I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Phillip (sic) over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many kind messages about the Diamond Jubilee.
"In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope that we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth.
"I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart as we join together in our celebrations. I send my sincere good wishes to you all."
The milestone means Queen Elizabeth II becomes the second-longest reigning British monarch, behind Queen Victoria, who ruled for more than 63 years.